Author Topic: (Me-N721CT) In position, clears wrong aircraft for takeoff, then another to land  (Read 10449 times)

Offline cbkyro

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KRVS 172203Z. (Edited for time)

We (N721CT) checked on, holding short of 19L.
Cessna 505 was informed we'd be in position. -Acknowledged.
N721CT put into position on 19L.
Controller mistakenly gives Cessna 0JA takeoff clearance. (They were already in air.) For some reason, the pilot read it back and to top it off, left out his callsign. :?
Cessna 505 now cleared for the option. We're still sitting on the runway, but picked up on the error.
Cessna 0JA, again, already in the air, is told to follow traffic in pattern.
We (721CT) clarified with the tower and he reads back the same takeoff clearance previously given to 0JA.

Although not good, I understand how the controller can think one callsign and say another. What I cannot understand is why an aircraft not even on the ground can read it back, not state their own callsign and proceed to let it go. The controller also should have been watching us to start our takeoff roll before clearing the next inbound to land.

Some call it a deal, some call it procedural error.

Offline Mirlady

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What does  "cleared for the option" mean?

Offline cbkyro

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What does  "cleared for the option" mean?

Say you're flying around the pattern doing touch 'n goes. The tower knows you're going around multiple times and doesn't expect you to land, exit the runway and taxi back to the start (although you can).
Cleared for the option means you can do a touch and go, stop and go, low approach, or a full stop landing.

If they stated, "cleared touch and go" you shall ONLY do a touch and go. No other option is possible. Most likely due to other traffic getting too close if you were to do say a stop and go. (Come to a complete stop on the runway and then take off again.)

Make sense?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 02:03:20 AM by cbkyro »

Offline martyj19

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A few other comments on "cleared for the option" ...

You can always do a go-around if conditions require, independent of anything you've been cleared for.  You would report "on the go" when you are safely established in the climb, and tower will then give you pattern instructions for another approach.

One reason you would want to do a stop and go is that to count for night currency, landings have to be to a full stop.  If there is sufficient runway to come to a stop and then a takeoff roll, you would usually do them as a stop and go rather than a taxi back and take off.  Day landings do not have to be to a full stop so are normally done as a touch and go.

Just for completeness, "cleared to land" or the pilot asking for a "full stop" means tower is expecting you to land and exit the runway at the first available turnoff after establishing yourself on rollout.  This is called a "full stop" landing but it does not mean that you stop on the runway.  A "stop and go" means that you do fully stop and then take off again.  You always strive for minimum time on the runway, but sometimes if there is no traffic following, tower will have you proceed further down to another turnoff if it simplifies getting you to where you want to park, but you would only do this if so directed.

Offline StuSEL

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Hey cbkyro,

Really good job being diligent on the frequency. It seems like everything that could have gone wrong did, and fortunately what you did was prevent any significant problems from happening as a result.

Here are the problems I saw:
1.) The controller is not supposed to clear aircraft to land or for the option with traffic holding in position. The controller obviously had thought he was complying with that rule by clearing Cessna 0JA for takeoff.

2.) The pilot of Cessna 0JA demonstrated incredibly poor airmanship by reading back the takeoff clearance after he was already airborne. What happened to the controller was a result of a cognition error, but 0JA had a complete, utter lapse in judgement. Sometimes I wonder if pilots realize the tower controller is looking outside his window to do his job and not a radar scope.

3.) Another potential issue could have arisen because, though you verified you were cleared for takeoff, you failed to point out (as far as we can tell from the clip) that the controller had mixed up two callsigns. Again, going back to #2, the controller associates callsigns mentally with visual aircraft cues he sees out the window: color and type most specifically. If the controller started calling you 0JA for no apparent reason, that confirms he has you mixed up. 0JA's readback of a non-applicable instruction certainly didn't help rectify the situation, either.

I'm not saying you ever need to demand the controller acknowledge his error on the frequency (like the Southwest pilot did at Midway a few weeks back during a runway incursion), but simply stating "Tower, you cleared 0JA for takeoff again instead of 1CT" would indicate to the controller that he needs to pay closer attention to the callsigns and visual associations with each one. Stating "...and 0JA read back that instruction" would indicate to the controller that he needs to pay closer attention to 0JA, who will apparently read back anything regardless of whether it applies to him or not.